Daines Introduces Bill to Increase Penalties for Illegally Sharing Americans’ Tax Information

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senator Steve Daines introduced the “Increasing Rightful Sentences Act” or the “IRS Act,” to increase penalties for future unauthorized disclosures of confidential tax information.

Introduction follows the news that after a more than two-year-long investigation, a former IRS contractor, Charles Littlejohn, pleaded guilty to stealing and leaking thousands of individuals’ private IRS tax records, including those of a former President, and sharing them with news outlets. Littlejohn was charged with a single count of unauthorized disclosure of tax information through a plea deal negotiated with the Department of Justice despite illegally obtaining and sharing thousands of individuals’ information.

“A mere slap-on-the-wrist for illegally releasing Americans’ private tax information only perpetuates Biden’s two systems of justice and does nothing to crack down on future leaks. It’s time we start holding these criminals accountable and raise the penalties for unauthorized disclosures,” Daines said.

Currently, such disclosures under 26 U.S.C. § 7213(a)(1) carry a maximum sentence of five years of imprisonment, a fine of $5,000, a $100 special assessment, and a three-year term of supervised release, an order of restitution, and an obligation to pay any applicable interest or penalties on fines or restitution not timely made.

The “IRS Act” would double the penalty to ensure a fine of no less than $5,000 and not exceeding $10,000 per disclosure or imprisonment of 10 years. This would apply to each disclosure received and each disclosure shared.

Read the bill text HERE.